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Jane Austen - Author

About the Author

Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775 at Steventon near Basingstoke, the seventh child of the rector of the parish. She lived with her family at Steventon until they moved to Bath when her father retired in 1801. After his death in 1805, she moved around with her mother; in 1809, they settled in Chawton, near Alton, Hampshire. Here she remained, except for a few visits to London, until in May 1817 she moved to Winchester to be near her doctor. There she died on 18 July 1817.
 
As a girl Jane Austen wrote stories, including burlesques of popular romances. Her works were only published after much revision, four novels being published in her lifetime. These are Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816). Two other novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, were published posthumously in 1818 with a biographical notice by her brother, Henry Austen, the first formal announcement of her authorship. Persuasion was written in a race against failing health in 1815-16. She also left two earlier compositions, a short epistolary novel, Lady Susan, and an unfinished novel, The Watsons. At the time of her death, she was working on a new novel, Sanditon, a fragmentary draft of which survives.

 

Fellow novelist Katharine McMahon on Jane Austen...

I can't not choose her.  And whichever I've read last is always my favourite.  The nuance of emotion, the understanding of human nature revealed by Austen constantly delights me.  When I reread Sense and Sensibility recently, for the first time Elinor came across as quite prissy and destined to marry a rather spineless husband.  I wonder if that was intended?

Featured books by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/12/2012

'No sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes...'  The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

ebook of the month
Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/08/2007

ebook of the month

Other books by Jane Austen

Letters

Letters

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/12/2020

Penguin Readers Level 4: Emma (ELT Graded Reader)

Penguin Readers Level 4: Emma (ELT Graded Reader)

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/11/2020

Penguin Readers is an ELT graded reader series for learners of English as a foreign language. With carefully adapted text, new illustrations and language learning exercises, the print edition also includes instructions to access supporting material online. Titles include popular classics, exciting contemporary fiction, and thought-provoking non-fiction, introducing language learners to bestselling authors and compelling content. The eight levels of Penguin Readers follow the Common European Framework of Reference for language learning (CEFR). Exercises at the back of each Reader help language learners to practise grammar, vocabulary, and key exam skills. Before, during and after-reading questions test readers' story comprehension and develop vocabulary. Visit the Penguin Readers website Exclusively with the print edition, readers can unlock online resources including a digital book, audio edition, lesson plans and answer keys. Emma Woodhouse is beautiful, clever and rich, and she has everything she wants. She does not want a husband for herself, but she loves match-making for her friends. But is Emma really as clever as she thinks? And what will she do when things start to go wrong?

Jane Austen's Lost Novel

Jane Austen's Lost Novel

Author: Jane Austen Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/10/2020

Until the appearance in 1870 of the Memoir written by her nephew J.E. Austen Leigh, very little was known about Jane Austen beyond what could be deduced from her major novels. This had been the family's choice. Despite this lack of information Deidre Le Faye records that following the acceptance of Jane's novel Susan for publication in 1803, according to family tradition, she had composed the plot of another full-length novel . This, Two Girls of Eighteen, never previously identified as Jane's, was published in 1806 but at some point apparently suppressed. Only two copies are known to exist - one in the Deutsch Nationalbibliothek and the one from which the present text has been transcribed, which came from a house that Jane knew and is mentioned by her in A Collection of Letters. Two Girls of Eighteen has a divided structure, involving two sisters, Charlotte and Julia, each of whom is given her own story, the one a Romance partly based on Richardson's Clarissa, the other a Gothic confection - both set in contemporary England. Jane appears to be testing in this the capabilities of such forms for expressing what she was trying to achieve. Through the character of Charlotte, who is attempting to write a novel, she deliberates at length the sort of thing that she herself might write. Her reflections on such subjects as medicine, law, the rights of women, etc take us below the glossy surface of the major novels and show us the complex web of thought that lies beneath.

Awesomely Austen - Illustrated and Retold: Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

Awesomely Austen - Illustrated and Retold: Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

Author: Jane Austen, Steven Butler Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2020

A fresh, funny and accessible retelling of Jane Austen's classic story, with witty black and white illustrations throughout. Catherine Morland loves nothing more than reading a romantic novel, but as one of ten children she doesn't have much time for reading or for romance. When she is seventeen, her wealthy neighbours invite her to spend the winter season with them in Bath - to experience balls, the theatre and other social delights for the first time. Catherine makes friends with the passionate Isabella, and dances with a handsome man called Henry, and it seems that all her dreams are coming true. But real life doesn't always play out like a novel, and Catherine will have to overcome many obstacles before she can find her happy ending ... Steven Butler is an actor and writer from London. His books for children include The Wrong Pong series and Dennis the Menace. Steven's love of mischief made Northanger Abbey the perfect book to rewrite and he's excited to introduce Catherine Morland to a whole new raft of readers. Eglantine Ceulemans captures all of Austen's satire and wit, bringing her colourful casts to life with warm and funny black and white illustrations. Illustrated and retold editions are also available for: Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park. The perfect way to discover Austen for the first time, this bright and bold collection features some of the most inspiring and famous heroines in English literature. For readers aged eight and up.

Awesomely Austen - Illustrated and Retold: Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

Awesomely Austen - Illustrated and Retold: Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

Author: Jane Austen, Joanna Nadin Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2020

A fresh, funny and accessible retelling of Jane Austen's classic story, with witty black and white illustrations throughout. When Elinor and Marianne Dashwood's father dies, they are forced to leave their home behind and move far away to a tiny cottage. Their lives look set to change for ever, in ways neither had expected. Elinor must leave behind the man she loves, whereas Marianne falls for their charming - but entirely unsuitable - new neighbour. The sisters will need each other's support if they are to find happiness, but will they ever find the right balance of sense and sensibility? Joanna Nadin is a winner of the Fantastic Book Award, the Surrey Book Award, Blue Peter 'Book of the Month' and Radio 4 Open Book 'Book of the Year'. She has recently fallen head over heels for Austen's books and wants new readers to feel the same. Eglantine Ceulemans captures all of Austen's satire and wit, bringing her colourful casts to life with warm and funny black and white illustrations. Illustrated and retold editions are also available for: Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey. The perfect way to discover Austen for the first time, this bright and bold collection features some of the most inspiring and famous heroines in English literature. For readers aged eight and up.

Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/2020

Sanditon

Sanditon

Author: Jane Austen, Juliette Shapiro Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/09/2020

Pride And Prejudice

Pride And Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/09/2020

Persuasion

Persuasion

Author: Jane Austen, Todd Webb Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/09/2020

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/09/2020

Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey

Author: Jane Austen, Sylvia Hunt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/09/2020

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/09/2020

Pride and Prejudice: An Epistolary Edition Containing Nineteen Handwritten Letters is a collection of the letters exchanged between Jane Austen's characters in Pride and Prejudice. Glassine pockets placed throughout the book contain removable replicas of all 19 letters in the story. From Lydia's announcement of her elopement, to Mr. Darcy's honest, beseeching missive to Elizabeth, this deluxe edition pays homage to the power of these epistles. * Nothing captures Jane Austen's vivid emotion and keen wit better than her characters' correspondence. * Each letter is re-created with gorgeous calligraphy. * Letters are hand-folded with painstaking attention to historical detail. Perusing the letters will transport readers straight to the drawing room at Netherfield or the breakfast table at Longbourn. For anyone who loves Austen, and for anyone who still cherishes the joy of letter writing, this book illuminates a favorite story in a whole new way. * Step inside the world of Pride and Prejudice, one of the most beloved novels of all time. * Great Mother's Day, birthday, or holiday gift for diehard Jane Austen fans * A visually gorgeous book that will be at home on the shelf or on the coffee table * Add it to the shelf with books like What Would Jane Do?: Quips and Wisdom from Jane Austen by Potter Gift, Jane-a-Day: 5 Year Journal with 365 Witticisms by Jane Austen Edition by Potter Gift, and The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne.

Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey

Author: Jane Austen Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2020

Northanger Abbey tells the story of a young girl, Catherine Morland who leaves her sheltered, rural home to enter the busy, sophisticated world of Bath in the late 1790s. Austen observes with insight and humour the interaction between Catherine and the various characters whom she meets there, and tracks her growing understanding of the world about her.

Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park

Author: Jane Austen Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2020

Adultery is not a typical Jane Austen theme, but when it disturbs the relatively peaceful household at Mansfield Park, it has quite unexpected results. The diffident and much put-upon heroine Fanny Price has to struggle to cope with the results, re-examining her own feelings while enduring the cheerful amorality, old-fashioned indifference and priggish disapproval of those around her.

Persuasion

Persuasion

Author: Jane Austen Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2020

What does persuasion mean - a firm belief, or the action of persuading someone to think something else? Anne Elliot is one of Austen's quietest heroines, but also one of the strongest and the most open to change. She lives at the time of the Napoleonic wars, a time of accident, adventure, the making of new fortunes and alliances.

Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

Author: Jane Austen Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2020

Sense and Sensibility is a delightful comedy of manners in which the sisters Elinor and Marianne represent these two qualities. Elinor's character is one of Augustan detachment, while Marianne, a fervent disciple of the Romantic Age, learns to curb her passionate nature in the interests of survival.